Silver Bullet Tiny House Wins Award

 

 

We are proud to announce that our founder, Vera Struck, built her own tiny home on wheels with the intent to utilize it as a sustainable education classroom exhibit (by living example) of “Living the Sustainable Tiny Life”.

She has now traveled over 12,000 miles to inspire individuals, families and workers to adopt best sustainable practices. She has motivated and empowered thousands over the five year lifespan of the Silver Bullet Tiny House.

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We are honored that she has won the best ‘Tiny Home’ award out of 90 tiny structures on wheels at the Florida Tiny House Festival this month. She was chosen as Renogy’s Solar Ambassador to the festival and is powered by Renogy. See more about her on their website here.

She purchased her 2nd generation solar solution for the 5 year old tiny home early this year and loves being powered solely by renewable energy. You can learn more about her clean energy choice here.

Why Tiny? Why Now?

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 7.38.54 PMWhy Tiny? Why Now? (Week #46)

The What and Why:

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of presenting a brief history of the tiny house movement and speak about my Silver Bullet tiny house journey/build to a group that convenes monthly called Local Poverty Matters.

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I spoke about my moral imperative of solving climate change, the desperate lack of affordable housing, and my homelessness as a single human in a world of diminishing resources.

Most of the homeless, like me, do not want a hand-out. We want a hand-up. After being socially ostracized, discounted and marginalized, we are often invisible to other Americans. The American Dream I grew up with is dead. So I invented and chose a new American Dream. I created the Silver Bullet Tiny House Challenge.

Could I build a non-toxic, off-grid, all renewable energy fed, resilient sustainable lifestyle in a mobile tiny house on wheels? Could it be made of reclaimed, repurposed sustainable materials and cost less than $20,000.? Could it serve as a mobile educational exhibit that could inspire individuals and families to decrease their carbon footprint, their economic costs and improve their community involvement by freeing up more time and control of their lives?

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The How:

Taking my future in my own hands, I designed a beautiful, biomimetic tiny house that nurtures my sustainable lifestyle. I used reclaimed resources, found sponsors, repurposed what others left on the roadside, and made my own home. Nature is never more than four feet away from me in any direction. I love that.

The details of my story and build are in my recently released e-Book, if you want to know more. Proceeds from the book support me giving workshops on sustainable living across the USA starting in Spring, 2016.

Here’s the thing about my homelessness. Deciding to take my own fate in my own hands, even with obstacles like my disabilities*, my poor health, no funds, no social or career possibilities imminent, fostered within me a resilience I only fantasized was possible. That is, until I achieved my solution.

Creating my own hand-up was not easy; however, others were inspired by my passion, drive and commitment to live a simple, tiny, healthier, zero-waste footprint lifestyle and they helped me any way they could.

I gained self-esteem, construction skills galore, lost weight, grew muscle (both physically and psychologically), found my “happy place” and finally, I gained social and community acceptance. The journey was incredibly challenging with many turning points in which I almost quit. But like all great journeys and projects, when finished, the joy and glory of seeing my accomplishment, knowing I reached all my goals, was an amazing reward.

I have achieved wellness all around. I live in a non-toxic, all renewable energy, self bio-mimetically designed, hand-built, mobile home.

That’s why “tiny” and that’s why “now”.

You can donate here. Every dollar helps me to help others.

* Although I have been classified by the State of Massachusetts as disabled, I have never collected any disability income from any source, private or public, Federal or State.

The Deep Dive:

Workers Over Fifty are the New Unemployables

The New Unemployables

Brutal Job Search for Older Americans

Not Looking for Work, Labor Force Participation and Recovery

Storming Sustainably

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 6.37.32 PMStorming Sustainably (Week #44)

The WHAT, WHY and HOW:

I live in a tiny house on wheels in a unique country setting in the woods on the Parker River in Massachusetts. It borders a wildlife area, protected marshes, and is only 4 miles from Plum Island which, at this time of year, is bracing for more fall/winter erosion events; residents are hoping their houses won’t drop into the ocean this year.

With coffee in hand I spent this last weekend battening down the hatches for another possibly harsh winter. Only three years ago today , Hurricane Sandy, made landfall in Brooklyn and the New Jersey shore.

Your practice for this week is to prepare to sustain your own home, pets and family for any emergency situations.

First things first, water and light. Check all flashlights. Extra batteries, check. Re-stocked First Aid Kits, check. Coolers full of ice, check. Gallons of water, check. Water purification kits, check. Medications, check. Full gas tank, check. Digital smart appliances recharged, check. Consider the purchase of a solar/wind-up radio. I did 15 years ago and have used mine often! How about a Biolite recharging stove bundle?

Along with making sure you have enough food, don’t forget to set aside water, especially if you have a well. You will lose water if your power goes out because the well pump will stop. So after covering the bulkhead with a heavy plastic tarp over some leaky openings I topped off our rain water barrel that holds 60 gallons. Just in case the power goes out we always take a last shower and leave the bathtub full (for future toilet usage).

All that preparation should keep us and our unopened freezer food safe for four days without power. (It helps that our organic garden and our Fall canning left us over 10 cases of jams, pickles, tomato sauces, caponata, vinegars and vegetables!) It might be good to get some emergency survival prep kits, just in case of a national disaster.

Secondly, don’t forget your pets! Here are some storm prep tips from the ASPCA:

*Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster”.

*Make sure all pets wear collars and ID tags with up-to-date identification. Micro-chip your pet as a more permanent form of identification”

Consider adding a GPS “tile app” to their collar.

*Keep a pet emergency kit and supplies handy with items such as medical records, water, pet food and medications, and pet first aid supplies. Take this with you if you evacuate.

*Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. Do not leave your pets behind.

*Choose a designated caregiver who can take care of your pet in the event you are unable.

To those I would add, stock up on water and DO NOT use candles in a home with pets – especially cats. No one wants the possibility of a tip over and fire amid the storm.

And last but not least, maintain a sense of humor, try to relax, play a few games of Spite and Malice, and good luck!

NOTE: Wednesday, November 4th, at 7PM at First Religious Society Church, 28 Pleasant St., Newburyport, I will speaking about the tiny house movement and my personal tiny house journey! Open to the public, come and join us!

Deep Dive

ASPCA, preparedness for your pets

Hurricane statistics from NOAA

Prepare, plan, stay informed at FEMA

@usatodayweather – National updates about all impending weather

@breakingstorm – Constant national weather updates

@RedCross – Focus on natural disaster preparation

@wunderground – Following weather from around the world